by Fred Schrock

What is Public History?

The CN Tower under construction.

The CN Tower under construction.

There are several goals for this blog: to write about public history and what makes for public history, to mention references that aid in the study of public history, and to discuss topics pertinent to local history.  For the moment, “local” is very loosely defined as the area in and abutting Western New York State.

But just what is “public history” anyway?  For a definition, the National Council on Public History has a decent article on the subject.  Essentially, public history is meant for use by the general public, not relegated to academic circles.  That does not mean public history should sacrifice academic integrity or bend towards antiquarianism or nostalgia.  More on that later.

Since I’m starting small I might as well list and two go-to resources for the City of Buffalo.  Here is a Cynthia Van Ness’s Built in Buffalo: How to Research Houses.  If you live in Buffalo and need a place to start looking up information on a residence this is the place to start.  For landmarks, commercial buildings, or more well-known homes, Chuck LaChiusa’s Buffalo Architecture and History is a good first step.

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